In May 2019 Sutton Children's Services made a commitment to adopt a restorative approach to the way we work with children and families.
This approach is reflected in the way we work with each other and our internal and external partners.
We are striving to embed a restorative culture in Sutton Children's Services- a culture that promotes respecting and listening to everyone's views... that encourages empowerment and co-production.
We believe working restoratively with our children and families means:
- listening to our children/families needs and wishes
- child/family-led plans
- using restorative processes like Family Group Conferences and mediation to strengthen and rebuild family relationships and support children to remain in the family home
- being respectful and open and honest in our communication with children and families
In addition to restorative practice we are also committed to trauma-informed practice and contextual safeguarding.
We recognise that many of the children and families we work with have experienced trauma in their lives and need a trauma-informed response from services they interact with.
We also acknowledge the impact that this can have on practitioners and the importance of supporting practitioners with their emotional wellbeing.
To this end, in addition to monthly formal supervision, the majority of our frontline teams have access to monthly restorative group supervision.
As one of four London Scale Up sites, Sutton is working closely with the University of Bedfordshire and Contextual Safeguarding Network over the next 2.5 years to introduce a contextual safeguarding approach within Sutton Children’s Services.